Camby Stars Again as Nuggets Edge Wizards
Denver 108, Washington 105
WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 (Ticker) -- After a slow start, Marcus Camby and the Denver Nuggets are quickly getting it together.
Camby recorded another double-double and made a huge defensive play at the buzzer to spark the Nuggets to a 108-105 victory over the slumping Washington Wizards.
The 6-11 veteran has responded to the challenge. On Tuesday, he scored 24 points and hauled down 14 rebounds for his ninth double-double in 12 games this season.
"I don't like to talk about it," Camby said. "I just go out there and play. My teammates are doing a great job of finding me in my favorite spots on the court. It's a team effort. I can't go out there and do it by myself."
Due in large part to Camby, Denver (7-5) has won four straight and six of its last eight games.
Camby also added five blocked shots, none bigger than the one on Gilbert Arenas to end the game. In a designed switch, Camby harassed Arenas near the top of the key and nearly poked the ball away. Arenas regained control and got past Camby to launch a 3-pointer, but Camby recovered and blocked the shot from behind to preserve Denver's fifth straight win over Washington and third straight at the MCI Center.
"I tried to lean with it to get away from his length, but he still blocked the shot," said Arenas, who turned to shake Camby's hand rather than plead for a whistle after the final play.
The Nuggets were prepared for Washington's final play and Camby once again came up big.
"We know that's their bread and butter," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We were just going to switch and let Marcus take Arenas and let him drive to the rim, which would've been fine to let him have the two. But Marcus is great and his length is so good and he has a lot of pride.
"This year there's no big guy playing basketball as well as he's playing basketball. He's such a good defensive player and he has such pride in situations like that."
Camby downplayed the athleticism of his block.
"We were up three and I wanted to foul before he had a chance to get a three up," he said. "I got my hands on the first one and he got it back and I just made a good recovery at the right place at the right time."
Baltimore native Carmelo Anthony had 28 points and 11 rebounds for Denver, which also received 20 points and seven assists from reserve guard Earl Boykins.
"Carmelo is our leader out there," Camby said. "He played well. I think he set the tone for us early."
Anthony gave the credit to Boykins and Earl Watson, who added five points and four assists in 18 minutes.
"Both Earls, when they come in the game, that's instant energy," Anthony said. "We can press up on the guards full-court and deny people on the wings. With Camby on the back line and we have Earl Watson and Boykins out there, we're kind of tough on the defensive end."
The 5-5 Boykins was 8-of-12 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers.
"I haven't been playing as well as I should be playing all year and these last couple of games I'm just finally getting my rhythm back," Boykins said. "It took me a while to get going this season, but now I think I have my rhythm back and I feel more comfortable.
"This win was big, especially the way we played down the stretch. This is the first game all year where we actually had to execute at the end of the game and we did."
Anthony made just 5-of-17 shots but sank 18-of-22 free throws, both career highs.
"I was attacking more tonight," Anthony said.
Arenas had 36 points and 10 assists and Antawn Jamison 26 and 12 rebounds for Washington, which held a 77-74 lead after three quarters but absorbed its fourth straight loss.
"I was just trying to get the team energized," said Arenas, who scored 30 or more points for the fifth time this season. "You don't want to lose at home, so you have to give it your all. We did, but it was just one of those games where we fought hard but we didn't come up with the win."